Why did Indian media support Armenia in the Karabakh conflict?

By Seymur Mammadov

Seymur Mammadov is the Director of the International Expert Club EurAsiaAz and Editor-In-Chief of Azerbaijan News Agency Vzglyad.az

Just a few days after the start of another phase of the Armenian-Azerbaijani war, the Armenian agitprop openly misinformed the world community that Turkey was allegedly taking part in hostilities on the side of Azerbaijan.

A little later, another fake was circulated that, allegedly, mercenaries transferred by Turkey to the region from the Middle East were participating in the hostilities on the side of Azerbaijan.

However, the list of foreign forces allegedly participating on the side of Azerbaijan against Armenia has expanded thanks to the Indian media, claiming that not only Turkish forces are fighting in Karabakh, but Pakistani forces are actively involved in hostilities in the conflict zone.

More precisely, many Indian media outlets have taken a biased position towards Azerbaijan in the Karabakh issue. Indian newspapers claim that Pakistani servicemen are fighting on the side of Azerbaijan, but frankly, I have not seen any reports in the Armenian media about the participation of Pakistanis in the fighting in Karabakh. The only thing the Armenian media constantly write about is that Turkey allegedly transferred militants from the Middle East to Karabakh, that Azerbaijan and Turkey allegedly recruited Syrian soldiers to Karabakh. However, there is no mention of Pakistani military personnel fighting on the side of Azerbaijan in Armenian media. I wonder if Armenia is not sounding the alarm about the participation of Pakistani servicemen in the Karabakh war, who then provides information to the Indian media with this unconfirmed, fake information?

Why do Indian media publish anti-Azerbaijani articles?

There are several answers to these questions.

First, the Armenian Embassy in India is actively involved in the spread of fake news about the participation of Syrian militants on the side of Azerbaijan and Turkish forces in Karabakh. So, fake information is leaking into the Indian media by Armenian Embassy in New Delhi, ​​which has long-established ties with some Indian journalists.

It is worth recalling that at the height of the hostilities – at the end of September, the Indian Embassy in Yerevan organized an action in support of the Armenian servicemen, to which Indian students were involved. They collected food and sent them to Nagorno-Karabakh. For some reason, the Indian Embassy in Azerbaijan did not organize such a humanitarian action in support of the Azerbaijani military personnel.

The main goal of the Armenian Embassy is to turn India against Azerbaijan. Time will tell whether they managed to achieve this, but one thing is clear: the one-sided coverage of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the Indian media was extremely negatively perceived in Azerbaijani society.

Secondly, the Indian Embassy in Armenia is openly participating on the side of Armenia in the Karabakh conflict.

It is worth recalling that at the height of the hostilities – at the end of September, the Indian Embassy in Yerevan organized an action in support of the Armenian servicemen, to which Indian students were involved. They collected food and sent them to Nagorno-Karabakh. For some reason, the Indian Embassy in Azerbaijan did not organize such a humanitarian action in support of the Azerbaijani military personnel.

 

The Indian authorities openly ignore this kind of article and do not try to stop this flow of information aimed against Azerbaijan.

Although during the outbreak of the conflict in Kashmir, the Azerbaijani media never took a one-sided position on the Kashmir issue, did not publish anti-Indian articles.

Thirdly, since the Indian media openly support Armenia in the Karabakh conflict, ordinary Azerbaijanis ask themselves a question (they have a moral right to do so), and not with the submission of the official New Delhi, the Indian media publish anti-Azerbaijani articles? Unfortunately, the Indian authorities openly ignore this kind of article and do not try to stop this flow of information aimed against Azerbaijan.

Although during the outbreak of the conflict in Kashmir, the Azerbaijani media never took a one-sided position on the Kashmir issue, did not publish anti-Indian articles.

As we can see, the editorial policy of the Indian media runs counter to the statement of the Indian Foreign Ministry, which called on both conflicting sides to stop hostilities, show restraint and resolve the conflict through diplomatic negotiations. Why? The question is that if India publicly supports the right of the Armenian community of Nagorno-Karabakh to self-determination, then there is a great risk that the Kashmiris and all Muslims in India will again demand to exercise their right to self-determination.

On the other hand, hostilities are taking place on the territory of Azerbaijan, and not on the territory of Armenia – that is, in the seven occupied Azerbaijani regions around Nagorno-Karabakh. According to international law, all seven regions and Nagorno-Karabakh itself belong to Azerbaijan. In addition, there are 4 resolutions of the Security Council, which require the Armenian side to withdraw its troops from all the occupied regions and return all Azerbaijanis there. Doesn’t India know about this? Why don’t the Indian media write about the need to return the seven regions and comply with UN resolutions on Karabakh? Why do many articles about Nagorno-Karabakh contain appeals in support of Armenia?

Ankara openly spoke out in support of Muslims on the Kashmir issue, and also sided with Pakistan in its confrontation with India. Turkey in 2019 initiated the discussion of the Kashmir issue at the UN. All this India cannot forgive Turkey.

 

Frankly speaking, the anti-Azerbaijani position of the Indian media is also incomprehensible in the context of the deep cooperation of the two countries in a multilateral format within the framework of the North-South international transport corridor project. Of course, among the factors that prompted the Indian media to publish anti-Azerbaijani articles, there is another factor – Turkey. The fact is that official Ankara openly spoke out in support of Muslims on the Kashmir issue, and also sided with Pakistan in its confrontation with India. Turkey in 2019 initiated the discussion of the Kashmir issue at the UN. All this India cannot forgive Turkey. However, India should understand that this is not a war between Turkey and Armenia, but a war between two peoples, two countries – Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Official Baku is waging a war of liberation, a war on its own territory, not on foreign land. In addition, for the first time, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Azerbaijan is conducting military operations on its territory, for this reason, the CSTO obligations cannot be extended to Karabakh.

Time will show what the future holds for the Azerbaijani-Indian relations after the end of hostilities in Karabakh, but one thing is clear: the Indian Ambassador to Azerbaijan will have to account to Baku for the fact that the Indian media have taken a unilateral position in covering the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.